Reward: Career Path Stations

My students are finally hitting their reward days.  🙂  First my 2nd graders, and then both of my 4th grade classes managed to earn one.  Well, an overdue delivery for furniture arrived just in time and I thought I would share my first attempt at a reward day.

1. My container labels are temporary. I had to put them together before my recess duty and then students came. I plan on laminated, colored ones in the future.
2. The stations you see are just options. I intend on adding approximately 8 more options for the reward day.

Basically, students enter class and sit at their table.  At each table is a different station that they work at.  Students will rotate to 2-3 stations in one class periood.  No, not every kid gets to do everything but with only 32 minutes, 4 minutes to review the “game rules”, 8 minutes for each rotation, and 4 minutes to clean up and line up makes everything go smoothly.

The key, I learned, to a successful station day is “no mess”.  There will be reward days where we get messy but typically I would structure that in a way that all students are participating in the mess so all of them can help clean up.  For today I wanted students to do stations to explore different careers in art.  The four stations (8 tables…double stations) were “Sketch Artist”, “Modeling Clay”, “Building Blocks”, and “Patterns/Design”.  You can probably guess where this is going.

Sketch Artists examine the space and people around them and spend time drawing quickly but with lots of details.  The prompting label instructs students to spend a couple minutes studying the space around them and then draw anything they can. (Career Path: Sketch Artist, Illustrator, Medical Illustration)  The tub contains loads of drawing paper and a variety of drawing materials (usually not materials we use often to increase excitement).
Modeling Clay is a station in which students explore 3D sculpture.  The prompting label instructs students to spend a couple minutes thinking of what they will build, all the while they knead their clay to get it workable.  From there, students begin to build their structures. (Career Path: Sculptor, Potter)  The tub contains eight 3 inch modeling clay balls.
Building Blocks is an architectural exploration where students think of structures that would be unique in our community and use the blocks to build tall or wide.  They must be sturdy too!  The prompting label suggests taking time to think out the design before building. (Career Path: Structural Engineer, Architect, Urban Planner)  The tub contains a variety of wood blocks.
Patterns/Design is a station that allows students to come up with colorful designs using geometric shapes.  The prompting label suggests use of symmetry and pattern to make the design stand out and catch our eye. (Career Path: Designer, Fashion, Graphics, Illustrator)  The tub contains a variety of colorful flat geometric shapes.

When working, I encourage students to work as a group or as individuals.  Because of the nature in which the stations are designed, all results are temporary (nothing to take home unless you are a Sketch Artist).  This makes it easier for students to work together because they know their work won’t be permanent.  I am impressed with the collaboration I see.  Students love this reward.  It seems so simple but gets them thinking about what they could do with it.  And they leave wanting more and hoping that next time they get a different station.  Like I said, I fully intend on adding 8 more different stations but because of the timing, hadn’t had a chance to get it all worked out.

Hope you enjoy and can take something from this!


2 responses to “Reward: Career Path Stations

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